Woodhall Spa Cricket Club saw their dreams of ECB National Cup glory dashed when they crashed to a heavy defeat against Nottinghamshire champions Caythorpe at Jubilee Park on Sunday.
With county call and injuries biting deep into Woodhall Spa’s squad, skipper Jack Luffman’s side were unable to stave off a disappointing 96 run defeat against a strong Caythorpe side.
The visitors, who included former Nottinghamshire batsman Matthew Dowman in their ranks, battled first mad made 223-8 against some spirited bowling, spearheaded by Luke Smith.
Woodhall Spa were definitely in with a shout at the half-way stage, but once the top order of their battling went, an inexperienced line-up was exposed and they were dismissed for 127 - despite a fighting 43 from Ben O’Brien.
With Matthew Sargeant, Jonny Cheer and Sam Evison all playing for Lincolnshire and Connor Parsons sidelined by hamstring problems, Woodhall Spa always faced a difficult task.
They made an encouraging start when they put Caythorpe into bat and Smith dismissed openers Martin Dobson and James Hawley for single figure scores with the aid of smart catches by O’Brien and Jack Hughes.
Dowman fell to the spin of Paul Timby for six, but wicketkeeper batsman Steve Alcoat proved to be a determined opponent as he rebuilt the innings.
Alcoat made 72 - which included seven fours and two sixes - before he went to Lewis Holmes, but Caythorpe were on their way to a testing total.
James Oldham (30) and Andrew Staszkiewicz (28) made useful contributions while Lufmann turned to six different bowlers - including himself - to try and keep a check on the flow of runs.
Smith’s 3-37 were the most successful figures but O’Brien also impressed. His nine overs cost just 24 runs and included four maidens. Youngster Holmes picked up two wickets - at a cost of 66 runs.
Luffman opened Woodhall Spa’s reply but was the first to fall for 20 with the total on 26 as Dowman struck.
Jack Timby went for just three and it was left to O’Brien and Hughes to carry the fight to an increasingly confident Caythorpe side.
O’Brien hit four fours and two sixes in his 43, but he went on 88 and when Hughes followed just two runs later, the match was over as a contest.
Hawkley and Dobson picked up some cheap wickets as Woodhall Spa were dismissed for 127, 96 runs short of their target.